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Director-Research Admin

School of International and Public Affairs

Director-Research Admin

  • 532999
  • Morningside
  • School of International and Public Affairs
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Jan 5 2023
  • Grade 15
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: $155,000-$163,750
The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

A strong internal candidate has been identified for this position, however, we are still accepting applications from other qualified candidates.

Position Summary

The Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) seeks a Director of Research Administration, reporting to the Senior Director of Research. The Director will administer day-to-day operations of a growing research unit supporting ~50 research scholars and staff associates in ~12 research areas, working closely with the Sr. Director of Research, Deputy Director of Research, and a team of program managers and project managers. The incumbent will play a key role in driving cross-functional research initiatives and executing overall research strategy, and supporting CGEP’s mission as a high-impact, leading energy policy research center.

The incumbent should be a strategic thinker and exceptional communicator with a strong aptitude for forging connections across lateral groups and maintaining situational awareness of program statuses, risks, and opportunities. Tasked with leading and directing the activities of the group, a strong understanding of research operations is required, such as: grant applications and reporting, research project management, cross-functional coordination, and collaborations with other support functions such as Sponsored Projects (SPA/SPF), HR, and Finance.

A particular focus of the role is to drive the organization to a deeper understanding of the impacts of racism, environmental justice, gender equality, and inclusion on the energy ecosystem. In partnership with the Sr. Director of Research and the Chief Strategy Officer, the Director of Research Administration will oversee and ensure the team’s implementation and contribution of culturally diverse and inclusive communications, which will be reflected across CGEP’s scholarship, work environment, and partnerships.


The Director of Research Administration will ensure that functions and processes support overall vision, strategy, and research impact. They will:

  • Serve as the Sr. Research Director’s lead on all operations and project management needs related to the Research unit
  • Oversee the design, implementation, improvement, and maintenance of operations processes such as those needed for:
    • Tracking grant applications, outcomes, deliverables, and reports for all research units
    • Hiring, onboarding, and effort tracking for research support staff
    • Establishing and tracking performance indicators to ensure that operations support overall strategic initiatives
  • Advise the Sr. Director and Deputy Director of Research on:
    • Program progress, risks, and opportunities, project scoping, funder communications, and resource allocation
    • Short- and long-term goals accompanied by actionable plans
    • Research impact metrics
  • Lead strategic initiatives for improving internal operations that facilitate the best possible research environment through smart procedures and processes
  • Collaborate with Directors of HR and Finance regarding research team operational needs including hiring and onboarding processes, budgetary planning, procurement, grant administration and related tasks
  • Manage a team that leads:
    • Cross-functional research programs
    • Collaborates with funders to develop realistic and actionable plans based on CGEP’s mission and in alignment with University standards
    • Coordination across CGEP Finance, HR, Publications, Events, Communications, and Development to ensure that all grants are up to date and meet or exceed funder and University compliance requirements

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and 7-9 years of directly related experience in operations, program management, project management, and/or research. Time spent pursuing graduate education may substitute for professional experience requirements.
  • A track record of fostering an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organization
  • A track record of exceptional project management skills, including experience managing complex research projects of varying sizes, with competing timelines and diverse internal and external contributors
  • Strong understanding of research operations and all operations support functions such as HR, Finance, Legal, etc.
  • Ability to work under minimal supervision on complex assignments, with a high degree of initiative and independent judgment
  • Ability to travel to meetings and conferences both domestically and internationally

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s, business degree, or PhD in relevant field, or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Additional years of experience in the energy sector
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong leadership skills in building consensus, exhibiting business acumen, and driving stakeholder actions
  • Strong analytical skills and strategic thinking to solve complex problems with excellent judgment based on analysis of multiple sources of information

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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